Greetings from Great Pond
Our thoughts are with all of you during these unprecedented times; especially those with family members and loved ones who are affected by COVID-19 and the resulting global economic situation.
We see our own family members managing well after one week with no school. We hear about other people in high spirits and many people are working hard to be kind, be patient and help each other out. We know there will be challenges as more time is spent at home and we hope our camp families will look forward to camp as a welcome change.
We plan to open camp in 3 months for the 2020 season. Camp is about connections and friendships, community, thinking of others, building lifeskills and it is fun. Camp is a place where children can unplug and take a break from the uncertainty that surrounds us now. Fresh air and activities in small groups at camp is looking like a good antidote for 2+ more months of home school and working from home.
Although we all feel the uncertainty and realize that things are changing day to day, we hope for stabilization over the next few months. We will keep you updated as often as possible as we approach camp opening.
We are working daily to refine how we operate camp in a new normal with best practices of making sure people arrive to camp healthy and keeping people healthy while at camp. We have already secured a number of new sanitization devices and health supplies through our vendors for the summer. We have a seasoned health team prepared to dive in to help everyone arrive safely and stay healthy at camp. We have experience from H1N1 (summer 2007) of running camp while also safely monitoring and quarantining girls and staff as needed. We hope to be virus free and we also want to be realistic and prepared. We have experience and we feel confident we can handle this.
We are planning as we normally do this time of year: finalizing hiring, developing staff training, planning our programs, answering questions, and continuing all the precamp work we have been doing since last August.
We are managing travel challenges for Runoia staff overseas, as visa processing is on hold. To address this challenge, we have alumnae offering to teach at camp this summer to fill in any gaps in activity coverage. We know we will be staffed well to run fantastic program, as usual, at Runoia.
We are staying informed and flexible through the pandemic to make sure we are making decisions in the best interest of Runoia families and balancing that with our continued operations. We recognize that we may need to be flexible about the date camp opens. For now, we are sticking with June 25 and July 18 (plus HLC camp dates, June 25, July 5, July 18). We will do our best to accommodate families’ travel changes and atypical travel plans, such as pickup days and timing changes.
We will continue to follow the best practices and expert guidance for this summer. We will do everything possible to help families figure out how to get their healthy children to camp. We will work with you to manage the uncertainty and support you every way we can.
Many of our Runoia staff who are teachers are sharing their ideas with us and we hope to have an online “connected camp” in the next few weeks to help campers with the long hours spent at home. We will keep you updated about our after school online connected camp and activities through CampMinder letters to your inbox as well as Facebook and Instagram. Tonight we will stream a Facebook Live Sing-a-long with “K” on guitar and Alex accompanying at 7 pm EST! We will have a sing-a-long campfire – look for a Zoom invitation later this week.
With a “Bo Bo and Wadas”,
Pam and Alex
For the Runoia Team
Out on the blue waves where summer breezes blow
Our boats go sailing into sunset’s glow
We leave the shoreline, to realms of dreams we go
Out to the center of the lake where breezes blow
P.S. Recorded camp songs can be found on our website